Discover more from Skincare Stacy's Stack
Why I Hate "Scrubs" for Face Wash
...but kind of love them for beard care
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just a cartoon deer on the internet with a background in chemistry and a hyperfixation on skin. This is not medical advice.
TLDR: just a gentle cleanser and use sponge (like below) instead.
St. Ives…Harry’s…why do y’all insist on hurting me like this?
Nvm, don’t answer that. Point being, I really don’t like facial scrubs. The formulations in these include hard pieces that will compromise your skin barrier by causing microtears. More importantly - you really don’t need to be scrubbing your face harshly. Physical exfoliation has it’s place, but it’s not in your daily routine.
Gentle exfoliation works like this:
Essentially, you are sloughing off the dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin to reveal the younger cells underneath. On the parts of your body where your skin is relatively thicker, this is great! On most of the body, your skin is 1-4mm thick. Your hands and feet are closer to 4-6mm. However, the skin on your face is on the lower end, and the skin around your eyes is even thinner around 0.5mm. If you understand how it is easier to poke holes in a sheet of paper than cardboard, then you understand why it’s safer to reserve physical exfoliation for your body instead of your face.
A better alternative to harsh facial scrubs would be sea sponges.
A friend gave me some samples to try a few months ago, and I was pleasantly surprised at how gentle they are. I don’t normally like the idea of using loofahs because of the bacteria they harbor, but sponges are naturally antimicrobial and have impressive longevity so I don’t have to replace them often. Plus, I like the fact that I’m reducing my plastic usage, and I don’t have to worry about TSA taking them. I fly a lot and carrying liquids with me is always a headache! I was going to share this discovery with you guys anyways, but the owner kindly insisted that I get a promo code. If you’re interested, you can check out the sponges I like here and here and use my code BTFAWN for 10% off.
One big exception I’ll make for harsher facial scrubs here is in the context of shaving and beard care. Personally, I always exfoliate before shaving my legs as it allows for the blade to get closer to my skin and provides a smoother outcome. The same concept will apply to your beard. If you struggle with getting a close shave, something you could try would be getting a cheap exfoliant and gently rubbing your beard with it to slough off the dead skin cells. Then, rinse off the scrub, apply your shaving gel or cream, and go in with a razor. I just picked up this one from a drugstore for like $3 the other day because I had a coupon, but you can pick up anything similar.
That’s all for now! Happy Skincare!
Note: you can now book consultations with me! Check it out here or DM me on Twitter to book with ETH.